Querying and submitting to agents is a long, arduous, and nerve-wracking process. I finished my first manuscript (contemporary romantic suspense) a few months ago after years of writing, and another year of revising, editing, cutting, splicing, and crying. (Emotions run rampant around these pieces of my soul on paper).
Then I started the massive undertaking of finding a literary agent. I’ve read so many self-help books and tips on publishing that I believe I have the basics down. Now its down to the nitty-gritty in getting my query letter noticed among the thousand of queries agents read every day.
Most agents aren’t looking for new authors to sign right now. “Our agency is currently occupied by catering to our current list of clients. Please check back with us next year.” I’ve read this tag line on so many agency websites.
For those agents who are considering signing new talent, the competition is brutal!
I’ve sent out 45 queries over the last several months, and have received back 15 rejections. However, I did receive one agent’s interest, and he asked for my first 3 chapters. I was physched! Made my Thanksgiving complete! After a month, I received a devastating blow- another rejection from my most promising prospect.
Granted, this industry requires an extremely thick layer of skin. But that was hard to swallow. I appreciated that he responded with a few tidbits as to why he passed on my baby- excuse me, manuscript. I’ll try to learn from them. But really the only way I can keep moving forward is just to keep writing. Not only that, but keep writing what I love.
I’m looking forward to my first Writer’s Conference in February. I hear that is an excellent way to learn, network, and potentially find at least an intro to an agent. Its intimidating, but I’m anxious for it.
Needless to say, I also entered a bajillion contests over the last few months as well. I’m waiting to hear back from several. Including 1 contest in which I won a consolation prize of a critique of my first chapter. That was back in October and I’m still waiting. But that’s normal for this industry.
Pain, anguish, and infinite waiting is normal for this industry.